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Sun, Oct 15, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Miners lift London amid mixed European trading

AFP , LONDON

European stock markets were mixed on Friday, with gains in mining stocks lifting London trading as Wall Street paused after hitting a fresh record the previous day, dealers said.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares gained 0.59 percent to 6,157.3 points while Frankfurt's DAX 30 index added 0.22 percent to 6,173.68 points, its highest closing level since June 2001.

In Paris the CAC 40 index eased 0.15 percent to 5,353.23 points.

The DJ Euro STOXX 50 index of leading eurozone shares was essentially flat at 3,997.07 points.

As European markets closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had slipped by 0.27 percent to 11,915.60 points in New York while the NASDAQ Composite was up by 0.15 percent to 2,349.72. Hong Kong's key Hang Seng Index closed 0.65-percent higher at 17,988.86 points. It had earlier topped 18,000.

In London, the heavyweight mining sector continued to underpin the FTSE as prices of lead and nickel hit all-time peaks owing to falling global stockpiles and fierce demand from economic powerhouse China, dealers said.

In Paris, shares in the European aerospace group EADS lost 0.61 percent to 21.24 euros, while core EADS shareholder DaimlerChrysler gained 1.04 percent to 40.85 euros in Frankfurt.

The Financial Times said that German government officials and the state-owned redevelopment bank KfW were preparing a contract for the bank to buy part of the German-US auto giant's stake in EADS early next year.

The newspaper quoted one official as commenting that Germany did not want a block of shares to fall into French or Russian hands.

A separate report said EADS would consider selling some Airbus factories if the new owners could reduce operating costs.

EADS co-chairman Manfred Bischoff told the International Herald Tribune newspaper that EADS would be open to selling some factories, but only if the buyers could operate them, as sub contractors, more cheaply than Airbus.

EADS announced late on Friday that it had finalized the purchase from BAE Systems of its 20-percent stake in the plane maker Airbus for 2.75 billion euros (US$3.4 billion), making EADS the sole owner of Airbus.

In Amsterdam, the AEX index was essentially unchanged at 492.68 points, the Swiss SMI shed 0.26 percent to 8,651.14, in Milan the SP/MIB was flat at 39,580, in Madrid the IBEX-35 set its fourth straight record, gaining 0.36 percent to 13,454.5 and in Brussels the BEL-20 edged 0.16-percent lower to close at 4,174.90.

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